Calgary’s Beakerhead festival, a five-day celebration of science, engineering and art, takes place in Calgary next week, featuring more than 60 events scattered across many different locations throughout the city.
More than 110,000 spectators took in last year’s Beakerhead over five days.
“This year, the line- up includes an extraordinary culinary event, public spectacles in different parts of the city, more than 30 restaurants in Engineered Eats, dozens of shows and workshops and, for the first time, a variety of tours,” says Mary Anne Moser, President and Co-founder of Beakerhead.
Beakerhead was founded four years ago by Moser and Jay Ingram, former host of Discovery Channel’s The Daily Planet.
Visitors can use the online program guide to navigate the dozen free installations and major public destination events, like Beakernight and the Four-to-Six explosion of interactive happenings taking place on Stephen Avenue.
One of the free outdoor attractions is the giant Sandbox of Human Ingenuity at Fort Calgary in the East Village.
At Studio Bell, musician Kevin Stebner will show you how to reprogram your obsolete Nintendo Game Boy so that it plays chip tunes.
Astronomer Roland Dechesne will talk about the future of the Moon, visitors will be able to look through an array of telescopes, and the University of Calgary Choir will sing a lunar ode, at the Rothney Astronomical Observatory, for the La Bella Luna event.
One of the highlights of this year’s festival should be the BASS Ship, a two-storey audio-visual transmitter designed to beam messages to space tailor made for extraterrestrials to find.
BASS, or Beama Applied Sciences Sector Ship, is the first project to emerge from Beakerhead’s Big Bang Residency Program, with funding from the Remarkable Experience Accelerator, a collaboration of Calgary Arts Development and the Calgary Hotel Association, and additional support from the Banff Centre, as well as the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.
The streets of Bridgeland will be illuminated by Beakernight, an interactive evening of performances, live music, the Beakerbar, a pedal-powered brain, a can-crushing cow and a human-sized hamster wheel.
Six top Calgary chefs and mixologists will present Torched, a food experience located in an industrial compound turned skate park in Ramsay.
An exhibit called Tentacles depicts a massive octopus that has somehow managed to get inside a historic Inglewood building.
Visitors can walk barefoot inside the belly of an inflatable robotic, exploratory humpback-narwhal hybrid called the Saturnian.
For Highly Social Science, an entire building has been turned into a social barometer in Mission, viewers can take in three interactive light, image and sound experiences on 17th Ave. called Cloud 17, and the unsqueamish can try walking barefoot across a trough of cornstarch and water, with the Cornstarch Walk.
Some of the most popular events will likely be associated with the Engineered Eats program, which is dedicated to the science and creative art of gastronomy,
But be quick about it, since the event called The Squeak Behind the Cheese Curds, which demonstrates how bacteria cultures and enzymes create the elastic protein necessary for making the perfect poutine cheese, is already sold out.